Qi’ra had always imagined coming to the capital of the Republic and dabbling with the elite. Now it was actually happening but it wasn’t as glorious as she imagined.
Yes, Coruscant was beautiful and the Senate Building was everything she expected it to be but there was a sense of malice within the walls. As if secret eyes were watching her every move and it was disconcerting.
T-38 seemed just as tense, especially that her blaster had been taken from her on the way into the building. Apparently, security was very tight, which was understandable with so many important figures in the galaxy roaming about the establishment.
They followed Captain Peer through the Senate Building, traversing its many levels and trekking down its many halls before finding themselves before a single room. This is where Peer turned to Qi’ra, gesturing toward her.
“After you,” he said.
She tapped the button by the door and it slid open, revealing a spacious area filled with plush couches, a fancy desk made of pale wood with a throne for a chair, and a large glass window provided a stunning view of Coruscant set against the dazzling backdrop of the sunset.
Sitting in the “throne” was a tall alien with navy-blue skin, slitted red eyes, and long black hair that flowed down his sides in two braids. He was dressed in a high-collared white and black robe that looked as elegant as any robe Qi’ra had ever seen. When he saw her he stood from his chair, approaching her with a yellow-fanged grin.
“Ah, the lovely Qi’ra in the flesh,” he said, grabbing her hand and bending down, pressing his forehead to the back of her hand.
She raised her chin, maintaining the stern demeanor that she made sure to uphold whenever meeting new business partners.
“I hear you’ve asked me to be here to act as a threatening shield against your competitors,” she stated bluntly.
The moff flashed her that grin again as his eyes flitted to the Imperial captain.
“So he’s already filled you in on the details, I see,” he said. There was a hint of annoyance in his tone.
“I wouldn’t have come if he hadn’t,” she said.
The moff moved past her to shake T-38’s hand. “A cyborg. Hmm, don’t meet your kind often.”
T-38’s nose subtly rose into a slight snarl. “It is a pleasure to meet you.”
The moff then approached Nienye who he regarded with appropriate interest. “You seem like a strong warrior. I see why Qi’ra has you as her top lieutenant. Tell me, is she hard to work under?”
“I find her very easy to work with,” Nienye replied, a vague sense of annoyance in his tone.
The senator turned away, regarding Qi’ra once more. “I’m sure the captain has told you but my name is Turrel Arnim. I lead the Birkwish clan on Ellard, a planet located within the Inner Rim, as well as the surrounding Noad system. Most of anything I ask is fulfilled.”
“And that’s why you asked me here. To bully whoever is defying you into submission.” The moff’s nostrils flared. “I understand the reason you need me but what I don’t understand is why. Why me when you can clearly hire bounty hunters and those of a darker nature to be your shield.”
The moff chuckled. “You don’t understand. You have singlehandedly built Crimson Dawn into a formidable presence in the galaxy and after what you did to the rebels…” he shook his head, “you can now strike fear in the hearts of those who speak Crimson Dawn’s name. With the leader of Crimson Dawn at my side, it makes me look almost more powerful than the Emperor.”
Captain Peer, his expression turning stern. “No one’s more powerful than the Emperor.”
The moff smiled. “Of course, but you understand my thinking.” He averted his gaze back to Qi’ra. “You can change this galaxy, Qi’ra. You have the power to make The Empire even greater.”
Qi’ra walked past him toward the window, crossing her arms. A chill ran down her spine as the realization of her greatness filled her very being with invisible strength. As she turned she wore a smile on her face.
“Well, we have a job to do.”